If you haven’t thought about your car’s air conditioner for a few months you are not alone. Most of us don’t give that sort of thing a second thought, that is until there is a change. Springtime. Warm weather. Sunshine. There is nothing quite like that first warm day after a cold and wet season. So you jump in the car and hit the A/C button. Suddenly, the cabin fills with a musty, rotten smell. You may wonder, how did this happen? I keep my car clean, is there a piece of old fruit under the seat?
If you haven’t used your air conditioning for a while, there is a fair chance that that smell is caused by a bacteria build up in your heating and ventilation unit, especially around the air conditioning evaporator.
Here are a few tips that will help keep things in your car fresh:
1. Keep it switched on, all the time
Many people think that they need to switch off the air conditioning as soon as the car is at a comfortable temperature. Keeping it running will continually clean the evaporator core. Mercedes-Benz systems such as THERMATIC and THERMOTRONIC are designed for ease of use. Often, the AUTO button is the best setting, as it will regulate the temperature and air conditioning function. You may wonder, will this use more fuel? The answer is yes, but marginally. The air conditioning compressor in most Mercedes-Benz vehicles operates with a variable stroke, so in colder weather with very little demand, it doesn’t have to work very hard
2. Keep your plenum chamber clear
That gap at the bottom of the windscreen between the bonnet has a purpose; to drain water away from the screen and allow fresh air into the car. If your Mercedes-Benz does more than live in your garage, the plenum may have attracted some leaves, twigs or other debris. Removing what you can see here will help prevent the drains blocking up, and water entering the ventilation system.
3. Get the filter replaced
The Mercedes-Benz service schedule calls for the dust or combination filter to be replaced at every second service. A dirty or blocked filter will keep smells trapped in, and reduce the blower fan performance. Ammstar replace this filter with every ‘B’ or large scope service, and is included in the quoted price. If you have just purchased a used Mercedes-Benz, it might be a good idea to check the service book to see when it was last replaced.
4. Have an ultrasonic clean performed
If you still can’t shake it after following the first three steps, it might be time to book in for an ultrasonic clean. Ammstar can perform the deodourise treatment using a genuine Mercedes-Benz cleaning solution for only $120, The process usually takes around an hour to complete.